Gov. Andy Beshear signing an executive order on Thursday mandating mask-wearing. Starting Friday, July 10th at 5 pm anyone not wearing a mask or face covering in required public settings could face a warning. While businesses that do not enforce the rule among employees could be shut down by the state.
According to Gov. Beshear masks are required in the following places:
- All retail facilities including grocery stores
- In forward-facing businesses like salons & barber shops
- Indoors & outdoors when 6-feet of distance is not an option.
Children under the age of five are exempt.
With COVID-19 cases on the rise in many cities and counties across the country, Gov. Beshear says, "We don't wait for things to get out of control before we act. When the indicator shows that the virus is growing, we take strong aggressive action."
The governor detailed his decision in an exclusive interview with 44News Evening Anchor Jessica Hartman.
"Through these mandates, we have got the best chance of getting our schools open and keeping them open," explained Gov. Beshear. "It is on us folks. It is about whether we will care enough about each other to do a few things that feel a little uncomfortable."
However, the executive order is being challenged by the Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron.
Cameron filed a restraining order against the governor. Just hours before Gov. Beshear officially announced the mandate, a Circuit Court Judge in Scott County granted the request by Cameron.
The judge stated, in order to issue and enforce executive orders on COVID-19, the governor must specify the exact state of emergency requiring the executive order, location of the emergency, and the name of the local emergency management agency that is requesting assistance.
In the northern half of the Tri-State, Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb hasn't made masks mandatory. That is despite pressure on the subject from both sides of the aisle.
Locally, however, the Evansville City Council will vote on an ordinance that would require River City residents to wear facemasks while in public, and in Indiana's more densely-populated Marion County, a face mask mandate is already in effect.
In Illinois, Governor JB Pritzker mandated masks back on May 1. He is now calling for a national mask mandate from lawmakers in D.C.